Monday, December 22, 2008

Voracious Appetite

"You are in heaven right now, and your only job is to play. Don't screw it up."

--- Virgil Provost

Waking up after midnight
as a child, and
piling into the impossibly large
Chevrolet Bel Air, going
I could not know
where. In those days we could still discover dirt
roads to lose our way on, places the
glare of self-obsession had not yet
destroyed, had not
polluted the perfect darkness of, roaring
white-noise hum,
electric Narcissus now
shackling us into our wholly

Past the deep glassy
mirror-skin of the frigid
Tomhannock Reservoir, piercing the
rusty sponge-needle silence of
pine-forested hills in their
grave darkness,--- thick, deafening, sound-
deadening mats --- we braked into
an open field alive with
the time-lapse symphony
of nuclear stars, and raised the
tripod of a nine-inch
reflecting telescope like
cosmic conquistadors raising a

Mount Suribachi flag,
asserting rule over
infinities that required
no passports.

Not what or who we are, but
what and who we aren't, a pure and undespoiled
otherness. The promiscuous moons of Jupiter.
Saturn’s rings so sharp they could
slice meat. The stark,
bone-white ridges of the Sea
of Tranquility, we were
jealous cosmic voyeurs in
hot pursuit of
some lunar occultation,
a little leg from Venus,
the spark-torched shower of
a self-immolating meteor;
for a child in an age almost entirely
pre-digital, nature's web extended
so far beyond everything
that was merely
world wide.

That was where we anchored
as a family, in the primal forces that hurtled on
waxed slats down snow-glazed

Berkshire ridges in
the wind-burned recesses of winter;
that hove white canvas sails on
rigid aluminum masts through
the Beaufort frills of storming
whitecaps, solar breath, and that
tattooed the night sky
with million-degree brilliance ---
Deneb, Vega, Altair, and an
avalanche of others---
my father could somehow always
navigate. Even now

when the neurological
Swiss cheese of his mind can no longer
find the way home from
around the nearest corner, even
now, sometimes
before his voracious
forgetfulness can interrupt,
"there's Jupe" will dart from his
unthinking tongue, as it did from
the man who always knew
exactly where
we were going
when I was young;
and for that split second
at least, may be,
I am, and he still

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Guns for Jesus ---- Op-ed classic

( Every year around the Christmas season, there seems to be some new, vague, terror alert. Did you hear this? That's what gave me the idea for this poem.)

Terror for Christmas

Well the terror alert had been raised to high,
so our F-15's were patrolling the sky.
Keeping us safe, keeping us free,
protecting the homeland security.
Every day of the week, every week of the year,
we're armed to the teeth so we got nothing to fear---
except maybe,
fear itself.
Except maybe,
fear itself.

The kids were asleep all snug in their beds,
while visions of Predators shot through their heads.
They were slaughtering badguys like you wouldn't believe,
with their Hellfire missiles there on Christmas Eve.
They were pint-sized heroes in an army of one,
and for Jesus's birthday all they wanted was guns;
guns for Jesus,
and fear itself.
Guns for Jesus,
and fear itself.

Well the terrorists are always around,
so you better never lower your guard.
So while we celebrate the baby Jesus,
you know they're trying extra hard.

It was just after midnight and NORAD radar
showed that something big was coming in fast.
There was no time to think, and no time to argue,
act now or it might just be your last.
And they mighta thought twice,
and they mighta thought better,
but the terror was already so high,
well that was the night that the US Air Force
blew Santa Claus outta the sky.
We blew Santa Claus outta the sky.

And it was raining bits of blown up reindeer
for hours and hours on end,
and none of our jets,
and none of our missiles
could put Santa back together again.
And though fear and hate,
may keep you safe,
from everything the enemy sends,
the problem with answering fear with guns,
is that you're gonna end up killing your friends.
The trouble with answering fear with guns,
is that you always end destroying your friends.
With nothing to fear,
and nothing to love,
except maybe
fear itself.
Except maybe,
fear itself.

Monday, December 08, 2008

By any other name

Hariri, Harare,
Takfiri, Zarqawi,
Scary as SCIRI
Corrupt as Allawi.
Paintball Timimi,
Tariq Ramadan
, Padilla,
Korematsu, Bagram.
Sistine, Sistani,
Taliban, Talabani,
Ex-con, A.Q. Khan,
Rendition, Pentagon.
Wasabi, Wahhabi,
Bandar, Chalabi,
Abu Ghraib, al-Jamadi
on ice, his body.
Blackwater, Goldwater,
Whitewater tea,
Hotwater, coldwater
Torture macht free.
Potatahs, potahtahs,
Paredes, Fadlallah,
Trireme, intifada,
al-Marashi, Muqtada.
Pat Tillman, Calipari,
Little Egg, Camp Victory,
Castro and Chavez,
Boykin, Geoffrey Miller,
Alberto (El Submarino) Gonzales.
Osama, Idema,
Jidda, Jihadi,
Sgrena, Mejia,
"Karen Ryan", al-Jaafari.
Downing Street memo,
you know the fix is in.
Our guy's Karzai
in the land of heroin.
Ayatollah, Hezbollah,
Ali Ismail Abbas.
George Tenet, Sean Baker,
a Tafari named Ras.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Compassionate Emperor's New Clothes

I was having lunch with Uncle Clarence Thomas Jefferson Davis
and Senator Strom Essie-Mae Washington Williams Thurmond,
Uncle Jim Crow Strom Booker T. Sally Hemings Washington Thurmond Williams,
and over lunch at the Woolworth's lunch counter,
over lunch as we were sipping our ever so delicious
Trent Latte's, separate but equal parts espresso and steamed milk,
we discussed Uncle Thomas's Log Cabin Republican
Jim Crow High Tech Lynch law. Uncle Clarence Thomas
High Tech saving Private Jessica Ryan Lynch counter lunch law.
And in this age, in this age of
Jefferson Davis Anita San Juan Hill Bill Lewinsky Clinton lynch law,
we were all agreed what matters most is not so much the
stringing up, or the innocense, or the guilt, but, but well
the rounding up
of the usual suspects. Rounding up the
they all look the same
when the Saudis attack it's Iraq we strike back
Because when you are
stringing people up with rough shod rough rider
San Juan Thrill Hill justice, what matters is that they all
look the part. That they all look like
Osam Saddama Domma or the Ayatollah remember the
Khomeini Hussein Reign of Terror Maine-iacs
on the Herve Villaschez 9/11
"de Plane de Plane."
God is great, god is great and we are not
Ayatollah Falwell's Wahhabi wannabes,
we are not Ayatollah Ashcroft's charter school
madrassa dropouts, we are the subjects of the compassionate conservative
empire, the compassionate neocon conservative
empire, and we have prepared a compassionate
lynching for anyone who claims
that our compassionate emperor is naked,
our compassionate emperor is naked,
our compassionate emperor is just as naked
in his hooded Vietnam,
or his Dora Farm ROCKSTARS Nick Berg decapitation strike
as eleven year old Kim Phuc,
or the human sex pyramids
of Abu Ghraib.